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Wednesday, December 11, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Manson takes metal to next level

1990s megastar will perform two shows at Knitting Factory next week

Marilyn Manson will perform Monday and Thursday at The Knitting Factory.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Marilyn Manson will perform Monday and Thursday at The Knitting Factory. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane loves its metal (and “American Idol,” apparently).

There have been a few sold-out shows at The Knitting Factory this summer – Godsmack, Hollywood Undead and “Idol” winner David Cook – but the biggest of them all is none other than Marilyn Manson.

His appearance has been expanded to a two-day affair, Monday and Thursday at The Knitting Factory, 919 W. Sprague Ave. Thursday’s originally scheduled show is sold out, but at press time there were still tickets available for Monday.

“I can’t remember the last time Marilyn Manson was in Spokane,” said Matt Judge, the Knitting Factory’s general manager, who has lived in town since 1974.

“I figured it would sell well. We added the second show because another show (Anthrax) canceled. There was a high demand.

“We were just lucky we were able to add the second date … which actually ends up being the first date.”

A rock megastar during the 1990s, Manson was packing arena-sized venues as religious organizations were accusing him of poisoning the nation’s youth.

Shortly after revealing the behind-the-mask emotions and intelligence at work in an interview for Michael Moore’s political documentary, “Bowling for Columbine,” Manson retreated to the shadows, releasing his supposed farewell best-of album in 2004.

After a short hiatus, though, he returned with a more raw, introspective home recording, 2007’s “Eat Me, Drink Me,” which was released in the wake of his high-profile divorce from burlesque entertainer Dita Von Teese.

Manson is back this year with a new album, “The High End of Low,” that reaches into familiarly swampy territory.

For Manson, dropping a new batch of industrial-metal grinders about Satan, blood, sex, drugs and violence is playing it safe.

A leadoff single with a title that is unprintable in most American newspapers is par for the course.

Using Nazi symbolism as a metaphor for love is a narrow escape from self- parodying his ’90s-era peak.

While there are plenty of ballad-style tracks that recall “Eat Me, Drink Me,” Manson’s new album was hyped as a back-to-form recapture of “Antichrist Superstar,” complete with a reunion with his longtime collaborator, bassist/guitarist Twiggy Ramirez.

There are a couple of surprise twists on this refined and updated version of Manson’s ’90s inventions, such as the falsetto vocals on the acoustic ballad, “Running to the Edge of World.”

But it’s largely more of the slaps and bites at middle-class morality that fans, critics and parent groups have come to expect.

If the rock and roll superghoul really wanted to shock the world he would shave his head, grow a beard and start singing folk songs.

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